Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor | Richard A. Ball, Commissioner
Jola Szubielski 518-457-0752
Chyresse Wells 518-292-5148

May 13, 2016

Empire State Development and Department of Agriculture & Markets Announce the Farm to Shaker Tasting and Taste NY Spirit Competition to Take Place in Rochester Saturday

$40,000 Grant Supports Promotion of More Than 20 Distilleries
Grant Program Has Assisted 25 Craft Beverage Events Since Its Launch

Empire State Development (ESD) and the State Department of Agriculture and Markets today announced that the Farm to Shaker Taste NY Spirit Tasting and Competition will take place in Rochester Saturday, May 14. Hosted by the Rochester Cocktail Revival, the Farm to Shaker tasting event and competition will build awareness of the state’s growing craft beverage industry and support the region’s distilling businesses.

“New York’s breweries, distilleries, cideries and wineries are thriving as our successful craft beverage industry continues to grow in every corner of the state,” said Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky. “We are excited to support the Taste NY Spirit Competition as the Rochester Cocktail Revival shines a spotlight on more than 20 distilleries producing top notch, New York-made products.”

ESD is supporting the Rochester Cocktail Revival with a $40,000 grant awarded to Black Button Distilling through the Craft Beverage Marketing and Promotion Grant Program. The program launched in 2014 as a result of the Governor’s second Wine, Beer, Spirits and Cider Summit and was created to increase the profile, awareness and sales of New York State produced wine, beer, spirits, and hard cider. Funding is provided by ESD in coordination with the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets.

New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “The Taste NY initiative is providing an incredible platform to promote our State’s beverage producers and their unique products to the world.  We are pleased to partner with ESD in the Craft Beverage Marketing and Promotion grants to help raise the profile of these small businesses who are increasingly using New York State-grown ingredients and providing a boost to the State’s agricultural industry.”

Participating New York State distilleries include:

         The Albany Distilling Company, Albany, NY
         Apply Country Spirits, Williamson, NY
         Clayton Distillery, Clayton, NY
         Cooperstown Distillery, Cooperstown, NY
         Dark Island Spirits, Alexandria Bay, NY
         Finger Lakes Distillery, Burdett, NY
         Five & 20 Spirits, Westfield, NY
         Harvest Spirits, Valatie, NY
         Hillrock Estate Distillery, Ancram, NY
         Honeoye Falls Distillery, Honeoye Falls, NY
         Iron Smoke Whiskey, Fairport, NY
         KyMar Farm Winery & Distillery, Charlotteville, NY
         Last Shot Distillery, Skaneateles, NY
         Lockhouse Distillery, Buffalo, NY
         Long Island Spirits, Baiting Hollow, NY
         Myer Farm Distillers, Ovid, NY
         Niagara Distilling Company, Buffalo, NY
         The O’Begley Distillery, Dundee, NY
         Old Home Distillers, Lebanon, NY
         Tommyrotter Distillery, Buffalo, NY
         Union Grove Distillery, Arkville, NY
         Van Brunt Stillhouse, Brooklyn, NY

“The Farm to Shaker event is such an important opportunity for small family-owned farm producers to connect with consumers and show off the great products that are made from the great agricultural resources here in New York,” said Black Button Distilling President James Barrett. “I'd like to thank the folks at Taste NY and the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets for helping us put this together in the midst of the cocktail revival, helping to connect local consumers with locally-made goods.”

“The members of the New York State Distillers Guild are excited to be featured at this year's Rochester Cocktail Revival through the Farm to Shaker event on Saturday,” said President of the NYS Distillers Guild Brian McKenzie. “Distilleries from all corners of the State are making high-quality spirits utilizing New York State agricultural products. This will be a great opportunity for those products to be showcased to the people of Western New York.”

The Craft Beverage Marketing and Promotion grant supports the marketing of New York State products at the Farm to Shaker Taste NY Spirit Tasting and Competition, helping to showcase New York’s growing craft distillery industry. Since 2011, and as a result of the Governor’s commitment to assist and promote the craft beverage businesses in New York, the number of distilleries in New York State has grown from 10 in 2011 to 84 today.

Promotions for the event include a New York Distilling video that can be viewed online here. The event will take place Saturday, May 14 at 124 Railroad Street in Rochester from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets are available online starting at $15. For more information, click here.

Since its launch in 2014, the Craft Beverage Marketing and Promotion Grant Program has provided more than $1.6 million to assist with the promotion of 25 craft beverage events across the State.

About Taste NY
Taste NY is an initiative launched by Governor Cuomo in 2013 to promote New York’s food and beverage industries. It is overseen by the Department of Agriculture and Markets and has created opportunities for local producers to showcase their goods at large public events, such as the Great New York State Fair. The program has also opened stores at Thruway rest stops along the state’s highways and in transportation hubs, enabling travelers to buy New York State’s homegrown and homemade products. Approximately 1,100 local companies have participated in these opportunities, further linking their products and the state’s growing food and beverage market to consumers from across the globe. For more information about Taste NY, please visit Connect with Taste NY through FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest.

About Empire State Development:

Empire State Development (ESD) is New York’s chief economic development agency ( The mission of ESD is to promote a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new job and economic opportunities, increase revenues to the State and its municipalities, and achieve stable and diversified local economies. Through the use of loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance, ESD strives to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and support prosperous communities across New York State. ESD is also the primary administrative agency overseeing Governor Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Councils and the marketing of “I Love NY,” the State’s iconic tourism brand. For more information on Regional Councils and Empire State Development, visit and

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